Part 9 out of 13
breath--take your time, and tell me what you have got to say. I guess by
your dress, you are just come up from poor Scotland--Did you come through
the streets in your tartan plaid?"
"No, sir," said Jeanie; "a friend brought me in ane o' their street
coaches--a very decent woman," she added, her courage increasing as she
became familiar with the sound of her own voice in such a presence; "your
Lordship's Grace kens her--it's Mrs. Glass, at the sign o' the Thistle."
"O, my worthy snuff-merchant--I have always a chat with Mrs. Glass when I
purchase my Scots high-dried. Well, but your business, my bonny woman--
time and tide, you know, wait for no one."
"Your honour--I beg your Lordship's pardon--I mean your Grace,"--for it
must be noticed, that this matter of addressing the Duke by his
appropriate title had been anxiously inculcated upon Jeanie by her friend
Mrs. Glass, in whose eyes it was a matter of such importance, that her
last words, as Jeanie left the coach, were, "Mind to say your Grace;" and
Jeanie, who had scarce ever in her life spoke to a person of higher
quality than the Laird of Dumbiedikes, found great difficulty in
arranging her language according to the rules of ceremony.
The Duke, who saw her embarrassment, said, with his usual affability,
"Never mind my grace, lassie; just speak out a plain tale, and show you
have a Scots tongue in your head."
"Sir, I am muckle obliged--Sir, I am the sister of that poor unfortunate
criminal, Effie Deans, who is ordered for execution at Edinburgh."'
"Ah!" said the Duke, "I have heard of that unhappy story, I think--a case
of child-murder, under a special act of parliament--Duncan Forbes
mentioned it at dinner the other day."
"And I was come up frae the north, sir, to see what could be done for her
in the way of getting a reprieve or pardon, sir, or the like of that."
"Alas! my poor girl," said the Duke; "you have made a long and a sad
journey to very little purpose--Your sister is ordered for execution."
"But I am given to understand that there is law for reprieving her, if it
is in the king's pleasure," said Jeanie.
"Certainly, there is," said the Duke; "but that is purely in the king's
breast. The crime has been but too common--the Scots crown-lawyers think
it is right there should be an example. Then the late disorders in
Edinburgh have excited a prejudice in government against the nation at
large, which they think can only be managed by measures of intimidation
and severity. What argument have you, my poor girl, except the warmth of
your sisterly affection, to offer against all this?--What is your
interest?--What friends have you at court?"
"None, excepting God and your Grace," said Jeanie, still keeping her
ground resolutely, however.
"Alas!" said the Duke, "I could almost say with old Ormond, that there
could not be any, whose influence was smaller with kings and ministers.
It is a cruel part of our situation, young woman--I mean of the situation
of men in my circumstances, that the public ascribe to them influence
which they do not possess; and that individuals are led to expect from
them assistance which we have no means of rendering. But candour and
plain dealing is in the power of every one, and I must not let you
imagine you have resources in my influence, which do not exist, to make
your distress the heavier--I have no means of averting your sister's
fate--She must die."
"We must a' die, sir," said Jeanie; "it is our common doom for our
father's transgression; but we shouldna hasten ilk other out o' the
world, that's what your honour kens better than me."
"My good young woman," said the Duke, mildly, "we are all apt to blame
the law under which we immediately suffer; but you seem to have been well
educated in your line of life, and you must know that it is alike the law
of God and man, that the murderer shall surely die."
"But, sir, Effie--that is, my poor sister, sir--canna be proved to be a
murderer; and if she be not, and the law take her life notwithstanding,
wha is it that is the murderer then?"
"I am no lawyer," said the Duke; "and I own I think the statute a very
"You are a law-maker, sir, with your leave; and, therefore, ye have power
over the law," answered Jeanie.
"Not in my individual capacity," said the Duke; "though, as one of a
large body, I have a voice in the legislation. But that cannot serve you
--nor have I at present, I care not who knows it, so much personal
influence with the sovereign, as would entitle me to ask from him the
most insignificant favour. What could tempt you, young woman, to address
yourself to me?"
"It was yourself, sir."
"Myself?" he replied--"I am sure you have never seen me before."
"No, sir; but a' the world kens that the Duke of Argyle is his country's
friend; and that ye fight for the right, and speak for the right, and
that there's nane like you in our present Israel, and so they that think
themselves wranged draw to refuge under your shadow; and if ye wunna stir
to save the blood of an innocent countrywoman of your ain, what should we
expect frae southerns and strangers? And maybe I had another reason for
troubling your honour."
"And what is that?" asked the Duke.
"I hae understood from my father, that your honour's house, and
especially your gudesire and his father, laid down their lives on the
scaffold in the persecuting time. And my father was honoured to gie his
testimony baith in the cage and in the pillory, as is specially mentioned
in the books of Peter Walker the packman, that your honour, I dare say,
kens, for he uses maist partly the westland of Scotland. And, sir,
there's ane that takes concern in me, that wished me to gang to your
Grace's presence, for his gudesire had done your gracious gudesire some
good turn, as ye will see frae these papers."
With these words, she delivered to the Duke the little parcel which she
had received from Butler. He opened it, and, in the envelope, read with
some surprise, "'Musterroll of the men serving in the troop of that godly
gentleman, Captain Salathiel Bangtext.--Obadiah Muggleton, Sin-Despise
Double-knock, Stand-fast-in-faith Gipps, Turn-to-the-right Thwack-away'--
What the deuce is this? A list of Praise-God Barebone's Parliament I
think, or of old Noll's evangelical army--that last fellow should
understand his wheelings, to judge by his name.--But what does all this
mean, my girl?"
"It was the other paper, sir," said Jeanie, somewhat abashed at the
"O, this is my unfortunate grandfather's hand sure enough--'To all who
may have friendship for the house of Argyle, these are to certify, that
Benjamin Butler, of Monk's regiment of dragoons, having been, under God,
the means of saving my life from four English troopers who were about, to
slay me, I, having no other present means of recompense in my power, do
give him this acknowledgment, hoping that it may be useful to him or his
during these troublesome times; and do conjure my friends, tenants,
kinsmen, and whoever will do aught for me, either in the Highlands or
Lowlands, to protect and assist the said Benjamin Butler, and his friends
or family, on their lawful occasions, giving them such countenance,
maintenance, and supply, as may correspond with the benefit he hath
bestowed on me; witness my hand--Lorne.'
"This is a strong injunction--This Benjamin Butler was your grandfather,
I suppose?--You seem too young to have been his daughter."
"He was nae akin to me, sir--he was grandfather to ane--to a neighbour's
son--to a sincere weel-wisher of mine, sir," dropping her little courtesy
as she spoke.
"O, I understand," said the Duke--"a true-love affair. He was the
grandsire of one you are engaged to?"
"One I /was/ engaged to, sir," said Jeanie, sighing; "but this unhappy
business of my poor sister"
"What!" said the Duke, hastily--"he has not deserted you on that account,
"No, sir; he wad be the last to leave a friend in difficulties," said
Jeanie; "but I maun think for him as weel as for mysell. He is a
clergyman, sir, and it would not beseem him to marry the like of me, wi'
this disgrace on my kindred."
"You are a singular young woman," said the Duke. "You seem to me to think
of every one before yourself. And have you really come up from Edinburgh
on foot, to attempt this hopeless solicitation for your sister's life?"
"It was not a'thegither on foot, sir," answered Jeanie; "for I sometimes
got a cast in a waggon, and I had a horse from Ferrybridge, and then the
"Well, never mind all that," interrupted the Duke--"What reason have you
for thinking your sister innocent?"
"Because she has not been proved guilty, as will appear from looking at
She put into his hand a note of the evidence, and copies of her sister's
declaration. These papers Butler had procured after her departure, and
Saddletree had them forwarded to London, to Mrs. Glass's care, so that
Jeanie found the documents, so necessary for supporting her suit, lying
in readiness at her arrival.
"Sit down in that chair, my good girl," said the Duke,--"until I glance
over the papers."
She obeyed, and watched with the utmost anxiety each change in his
countenance as he cast his eye through the papers briefly, yet with
attention, and making memoranda as he went along. After reading them
hastily over, he looked up, and seemed about to speak, yet changed his
purpose, as if afraid of committing himself by giving too hasty an
opinion, and read over again several passages which he had marked as
being most important. All this he did in shorter time than can be
supposed by men of ordinary talents; for his mind was of that acute and
penetrating character which discovers, with the glance of intuition, what
facts bear on the particular point that chances to be subjected to
consideration. At length he rose, after a few minutes' deep reflection.--
"Young woman," said he, "your sister's case must certainly be termed a
"God bless you, sir, for that very word!" said Jeanie.
"It seems contrary to the genius of British law," continued the Duke, "to
take that for granted which is not proved, or to punish with death for a
crime, which, for aught the prosecutor has been able to show, may not
have been committed at all."
"God bless you, sir!" again said Jeanie, who had risen from her seat,
and, with clasped hands, eyes glittering through tears, and features
which trembled with anxiety, drank in every word which the Duke uttered.
"But, alas! my poor girl," he continued, "what good will my opinion do
you, unless I could impress it upon those in whose hands your sister's
life is placed by the law? Besides, I am no lawyer; and I must speak with
some of our Scottish gentlemen of the gown about the matter."
"O, but, sir, what seems reasonable to your honour, will certainly be the
same to them," answered Jeanie.
"I do not know that," replied the Duke; "ilka man buckles his belt his
ain gate--you know our old Scots proverb?--But you shall not have placed
this reliance on me altogether in vain. Leave these papers with me, and
you shall hear from me to-morrow or next day. Take care to be at home at
Mrs. Glass's, and ready to come to me at a moment's warning. It will be
unnecessary for you to give Mrs. Glass the trouble to attend you;--and by
the by, you will please to be dressed just as you are at present."
"I wad hae putten on a cap, sir," said Jeanie, "but your honour kens it
isna the fashion of my country for single women; and I judged that, being
sae mony hundred miles frae hame, your Grace's heart wad warm to the
tartan," looking at the corner of her plaid.
"You judged quite right," said the Duke. "I know the full value of the
snood; and MacCallummore's heart will be as cold as death can make it,
when it does /not/ warm to the tartan. Now, go away, and don't be out of
the way when I send."
Jeanie replied,--"There is little fear of that, sir, for I have little
heart to go to see sights amang this wilderness of black houses. But if I
might say to your gracious honour, that if ye ever condescend to speak to
ony ane that is of greater degree than yoursell, though maybe it isna
civil in me to say sae, just if you would think there can be nae sic odds
between you and them, as between poor Jeanie Deans from St. Leonard's and
the Duke of Argyle; and so dinna be chappit back or cast down wi' the
first rough answer."
"I am not apt," said the Duke, laughing, "to mind rough answers much--Do
not you hope too much from what I have promised. I will do my best, but
God has the hearts of Kings in his own hand."
Jeanie courtesied reverently and withdrew, attended by the Duke's
gentleman, to her hackney-coach, with a respect which her appearance did
not demand, but which was perhaps paid to the length of the interview
with which his master had honoured her.
While radiant summer opens all its pride,
Thy hill, delightful Shene! Here let us sweep
The boundless landscape.
From her kind and officious, but somewhat gossiping friend, Mrs. Glass,
Jeanie underwent a very close catechism on their road to the Strand,
where the Thistle of the good lady flourished in full glory, and, with
its legend of /Nemo me impune,/ distinguished a shop then well known to
all Scottish folk of high and low degree.
"And were you sure aye to /say your/ Grace to him?" said the good old
lady; "for ane should make a distinction between MacCallummore and the
bits o' southern bodies that they ca' lords here--there are as mony o'
them, Jeanie, as would gar ane think they maun cost but little fash in
the making--some of them I wadna trust wi' six pennies-worth of
black-rappee--some of them I wadna gie mysell the trouble to put up a
hapnyworth in brown paper for--But I hope you showed your breeding to the
Duke of Argyle, for what sort of folk would he think your friends in
London, if you had been lording him, and him a Duke?"
"He didna seem muckle to mind," said Jeanie; "he kend that I was landward
"Weel, weel," answered the good lady. "His Grace kens me weel; so I am
the less anxious about it. I never fill his snug-box but he says, 'How
d'ye do, good Mrs. Glass?--How are all our friends in the North?' or it
may be--'Have ye heard from the North lately?' And you may be sure, I
make my best courtesy, and answer, 'My Lord Duke, I hope your Grace's
noble Duchess, and your Grace's young ladies, are well; and I hope the
snuff continues to give your Grace satisfaction.' And then ye will see
the people in the shop begin to look about them; and if there's a
Scotsman, as there may be three or half-a-dozen, aff go the hats, and
mony a look after him, and 'There goes the Prince of Scotland, God bless
him!' But ye have not told me yet the very words he said t'ye."
Jeanie had no intention to be quite so communicative. She had, as the
reader may have observed, some of the caution and shrewdness, as well as
of the simplicity of her country. She answered generally, that the Duke
had received her very compassionately, and had promised to interest
himself in her sister's affair, and to let her hear from him in the
course of the next day, or the day after. She did not choose to make any
mention of his having desired her to be in readiness to attend him, far
less of his hint, that she should not bring her landlady. So that honest
Mrs. Glass was obliged to remain satisfied with the general intelligence
above mentioned, after having done all she could to extract more.
It may easily be conceived, that, on the next day, Jeanie declined all
invitations and inducements, whether of exercise or curiosity, to walk
abroad, and continued to inhale the close, and somewhat professional
atmosphere of Mrs. Glass's small parlour. The latter flavour it owed to a
certain cupboard, containing, among other articles, a few canisters of
real Havannah, which, whether from respect to the manufacture, or out of
a reverend fear of the exciseman, Mrs. Glass did not care to trust in the
open shop below, and which communicated to the room a scent, that,
however fragrant to the nostrils of the connoisseur, was not very
agreeable to those of Jeanie.
"Dear sirs," she said to herself, "I wonder how my cousin's silk manty,
and her gowd watch, or ony thing in the world, can be worth sitting
sneezing all her life in this little stilling room, and might walk on
green braes if she liked."
Mrs. Glass was equally surprised at her cousin's reluctance to stir
abroad, and her indifference to the fine sights of London. "It would
always help to pass away the time," she said, "to have something to look
at, though ane was in distress." But Jeanie was unpersuadable.
The day after her interview with the Duke was spent in that "hope
delayed, which maketh the heart sick." Minutes glided after minutes--
hours fled after hours--it became too late to have any reasonable
expectation of hearing from the Duke that day; yet the hope which she
disowned, she could not altogether relinquish, and her heart throbbed,
and her ears tingled, with every casual sound in the shop below. It was
in vain. The day wore away in the anxiety of protracted and fruitless
The next morning commenced in the same manner. But before noon, a
well-dressed gentleman entered Mrs. Glass's shop, and requested to see a
young woman from Scotland.
"That will be my cousin Jeanie Deans, Mr. Archibald," said Mrs. Glass,
with a courtesy of recognisance. "Have you any message for her from his
Grace the Duke of Argyle, Mr. Archibald? I will carry it to her in a
"I believe I must give her the trouble of stepping down, Mrs. Glass."
"Jeanie--Jeanie Deans!" said Mrs. Glass, screaming at the bottom of the
little staircase, which ascended from the corner of the shop to the
higher regions. "Jeanie--Jeanie Deans, I say! come down stairs instantly;
here is the Duke of Argyle's groom of the chambers desires to see you
directly." This was announced in a voice so loud, as to make all who
chanced to be within hearing aware of the important communication.
It may easily be supposed, that Jeanie did not tarry long in adjusting
herself to attend the summons, yet her feet almost failed her as she came
"I must ask the favour of your company a little way," said Archibald,
"I am quite ready, sir," said Jeanie.
"Is my cousin going out, Mr. Archibald? then I will hae to go wi' her, no
doubt.--James Rasper--Look to the shop, James.--Mr. Archibald," pushing a
jar towards him, "you take his Grace's mixture, I think. Please to fill
your box, for old acquaintance' sake, while I get on my things."
Mr. Archibald transferred a modest parcel of snuff from the jar to his
own mull, but said he was obliged to decline the pleasure of Mrs. Glass's
company, as his message was particularly to the young person.
"Particularly to the young person?" said Mrs. Glass; "is not that
uncommon, Mr. Archibald? But his Grace is the best judge; and you are a
steady person, Mr. Archibald. It is not every one that comes from a great
man's house I would trust my cousin with.--But, Jeanie, you must not go
through the streets with Mr. Archibald with your tartan what-d'ye-call-it
there upon your shoulders, as if you had come up with a drove of Highland
cattle. Wait till I bring down my silk cloak. Why, we'll have the mob
"I have a hackney-coach in waiting, madam," said Mr. Archibald,
interrupting the officious old lady, from whom Jeanie might otherwise
have found it difficult to escape; "and, I believe, I must not allow her
time for any change of dress."
So saying, he hurried Jeanie into the coach, while she internally praised
and wondered at the easy manner in which he shifted off Mrs. Glass's
officious offers and inquiries, without mentioning his master's orders,
or entering into any explanation,
On entering the coach, Mr. Archibald seated himself in the front seat
opposite to our heroine, and they drove on in silence. After they had
driven nearly half-an-hour, without a word on either side, it occurred to
Jeanie, that the distance and time did not correspond with that which had
been occupied by her journey on the former occasion, to and from the
residence of the Duke of Argyle. At length she could not help asking her
taciturn companion, "Whilk way they were going?"
"My Lord Duke will inform you himself, madam," answered Archibald, with
the same solemn courtesy which marked his whole demeanour. Almost as he
spoke, the hackney-coach drew up, and the coachman dismounted and opened
the door. Archibald got out, and assisted Jeanie to get down. She found
herself in a large turnpike road, without the bounds of London, upon the
other side of which road was drawn up a plain chariot and four horses,
the panels without arms, and the servants without liveries.
"You have been punctual, I see, Jeanie," said the Duke of Argyle, as
Archibald opened the carriage-door. "You must be my companion for the
rest of the way. Archibald will remain here with the hackney-coach till
Ere Jeanie could make answer, she found herself, to her no small
astonishment, seated by the side of a duke, in a carriage which rolled
forward at a rapid yet smooth rate, very different in both particulars
from the lumbering, jolting vehicle which she had just left; and which,
lumbering and jolting as it was, conveyed to one who had seldom been in a
coach before a certain feeling of dignity and importance.
"Young woman," said the Duke, "after thinking as attentively on your
sister's case as is in my power, I continue to be impressed with the
belief that great injustice may be done by the execution of her sentence.
So are one or two liberal and intelligent lawyers of both countries whom
I have spoken with.--Nay, pray hear me out before you thank me.--I have
already told you my personal conviction is of little consequence, unless
I could impress the same upon others. Now I have done for you what I
would certainly not have done to serve any purpose of my own--I have
asked an audience of a lady whose interest with the king is deservedly
very high. It has been allowed me, and I am desirous that you should see
her and speak for yourself. You have no occasion to be abashed; tell your
story simply, as you did to me."
"I am much obliged to your Grace," said Jeanie, remembering Mrs. Glass's
charge, "and I am sure, since I have had the courage to speak to your
Grace in poor Effie's cause, I have less reason to be shame-faced in
speaking to a leddy. But, sir, I would like to ken what to ca' her,
whether your grace or your honour, or your leddyship, as we say to lairds
and leddies in Scotland, and I will take care to mind it; for I ken
leddies are full mair particular than gentlemen about their titles of
"You have no occasion to call her anything but Madam. Just say what you
think is likely to make the best impression--look at me from time to
time--and if I put my hand to my cravat so--(showing her the motion)--you
will stop; but I shall only do this when you say anything that is not
likely to please."
"But, sir, your Grace," said Jeanie, "if it wasna ower muckle trouble,
wad it no be better to tell me what I should say, and I could get it by
"No, Jeanie, that would not have the same effect--that would be like
reading a sermon, you know, which we good Presbyterians think has less
unction than when spoken without book," replied the Duke. "Just speak as
plainly and boldly to this lady, as you did to me the day before
yesterday, and if you can gain her consent, I'll wad ye a plack, as we
say in the north, that you get the pardon from the king."
As he spoke, he took a pamphlet from his pocket, and began to read.
Jeanie had good sense and tact, which constitute betwixt them that which
is called natural good breeding. She interpreted the Duke's manoeuvre as
a hint that she was to ask no more questions, and she remained silent
The carriage rolled rapidly onwards through fertile meadows, ornamented
with splendid old oaks, and catching occasionally a glance of the
majestic mirror of a broad and placid river. After passing through a
pleasant village, the equipage stopped on a commanding eminence, where
the beauty of English landscape was displayed in its utmost luxuriance.
Here the Duke alighted, and desired Jeanie to follow him. They paused for
a moment on the brow of a hill, to gaze on the unrivalled landscape which
it presented. A huge sea of verdure, with crossing and intersecting
promontories of massive and tufted groves, was tenanted by numberless
flocks and herds, which seemed to wander unrestrained and unbounded
through the rich pastures. The Thames, here turreted with villas, and
there garlanded with forests, moved on slowly and placidly, like the
mighty monarch of the scene, to whom all its other beauties were but
accessories, and bore on its bosom an hundred barks and skiffs, whose
white sails and gaily fluttering pennons gave life to the whole.
The Duke of Argyle was, of course, familiar with this scene; but to a man
of taste it must be always new. Yet, as he paused and looked on this
inimitable landscape, with the feeling of delight which it must give to
the bosom of every admirer of nature, his thoughts naturally reverted to
his own more grand, and scarce less beautiful, domains of Inverary.--
"This is a fine scene," he said to his companion, curious, perhaps, to
draw out her sentiments; "we have nothing like it in Scotland."
"It's braw rich feeding for the cows, and they have a fine breed o'
cattle here," replied Jeanie; "but I like just as weel to look at the
craigs of Arthur's Seat, and the sea coming in ayont them as at a' thae
The Duke smiled at a reply equally professional and national, and made a
signal for the carriage to remain where it was. Then adopting an
unfrequented footpath, he conducted Jeanie through several complicated
mazes to a postern-door in a high brick wall.
It was shut; but as the Duke tapped slightly at it, a person in waiting
within, after reconnoitring through a small iron grate, contrived for the
purpose, unlocked the door and admitted them. They entered, and it was
immediately closed and fastened behind them. This was all done quickly,
the door so instantly closing, and the person who opened it so suddenly
disappearing, that Jeanie could not even catch a glimpse of his exterior.
They found themselves at the extremity of a deep and narrow alley,
carpeted with the most verdant and close-shaven turf, which felt like
velvet under their feet, and screened from the sun by the branches of the
lofty elms which united over the path, and caused it to resemble, in the
solemn obscurity of the light which they admitted, as well as from the
range of columnar stems, and intricate union of their arched branches,
one of the narrow side aisles in an ancient Gothic cathedral.
I beseech you--
These tears beseech you, and these chaste hands woo you
That never yet were heaved but to things holy--
Things like yourself--You are a God above us;
Be as a God, then, full of saving mercy!
The Bloody Brother.
Encouraged as she was by the courteous manners of her noble countryman,
it was not without a feeling of something like terror that Jeanie felt
herself in a place apparently so lonely with a man of such high rank.
That she should have been permitted to wait on the Duke in his own house,
and have been there received to a private interview, was in itself an
uncommon and distinguished event in the annals of a life so simple as
hers; but to find herself his travelling companion in a journey, and then
suddenly to be left alone with him in so secluded a situation, had
something in it of awful mystery. A romantic heroine might have suspected
and dreaded the power of her own charms; but Jeanie was too wise to let
such a silly thought intrude on her mind. Still, however, she had a most
eager desire to know where she now was, and to whom she was to be
She remarked that the Duke's dress, though still such as indicated rank
and fashion (for it was not the custom of men of quality at that time to
dress themselves like their own coachmen or grooms), was nevertheless
plainer than that in which she had seen him upon a former occasion, and
was divested, in particular, of all those badges of external decoration
which intimated superior consequence. In short, he was attired as plainly
as any gentleman of fashion could appear in the streets of London in a
morning; and this circumstance helped to shake an opinion which Jeanie
began to entertain, that, perhaps, he intended she should plead her cause
in the presence of royalty itself. "But surely," said she to, herself,
"he wad hae putten on his braw star and garter, an he had thought o'
coming before the face of majesty--and after a', this is mair like a
gentleman's policy than a royal palace."
There was some sense in Jeanie's reasoning; yet she was not sufficiently
mistress either of the circumstances of etiquette, or the particular
relations which existed betwixt the government and the Duke of Argyle, to
form an accurate judgment. The Duke, as we have said, was at this time in
open opposition to the administration of Sir Robert Walpole, and was
understood to be out of favour with the royal family, to whom he had
rendered such important services. But it was a maxim of Queen Caroline to
bear herself towards her political friends with such caution, as if there
was a possibility of their one day being her enemies, and towards
political opponents with the same degree of circumspection, as if they
might again become friendly to her measures, Since Margaret of Anjou, no
queen-consort had exercised such weight in the political affairs of
England, and the personal address which she displayed on many occasions,
had no small share in reclaiming from their political heresy many of
those determined Tories, who, after the reign of the Stuarts had been
extinguished in the person of Queen Anne, were disposed rather to
transfer their allegiance to her brother the Chevalier de St. George,
than to acquiesce in the settlement of the crown on the Hanover family.
Her husband, whose most shining quality was courage in the field of
battle, and who endured the office of King of England, without ever being
able to acquire English habits, or any familiarity with English
dispositions, found the utmost assistance from the address of his
partner, and while he jealously affected to do everything according to
his own will and pleasure, was in secret prudent enough to take and
follow the advice of his more adroit consort. He intrusted to her the
delicate office of determining the various degrees of favour necessary to
attach the wavering, or to confirm such as were already friendly, or to
regain those whose good-will had been lost.
With all the winning address of an elegant, and, according to the times,
an accomplished woman, Queen Caroline possessed the masculine soul of the
other sex. She was proud by nature, and even her policy could not always
temper her expressions of displeasure, although few were more ready at
repairing any false step of this kind, when her prudence came up to the
aid of her passions. She loved the real possession of power rather than
the show of it, and whatever she did herself that was either wise or
popular, she always desired that the King should have the full credit as
well as the advantage of the measure, conscious that, by adding to his
respectability, she was most likely to maintain her own. And so desirous
was she to comply with all his tastes, that, when threatened with the
gout, she had repeatedly had recourse to checking the fit, by the use of
the cold bath, thereby endangering her life, that she might be able to
attend the king in his walks.
It was a very consistent part of Queen Caroline's character, to keep up
many private correspondences with those to whom in public she seemed
unfavourable, or who, for various reasons, stood ill with the court. By
this means she kept in her hands the thread of many a political intrigue,
and, without pledging herself to anything, could often prevent discontent
from becoming hatred, and opposition from exaggerating itself into
rebellion. If by any accident her correspondence with such persons
chanced to be observed or discovered, which she took all possible pains
to prevent, it was represented as a mere intercourse of society, having
no reference to politics; an answer with which even the prime minister,
Sir Robert Walpole, was compelled to remain satisfied, when he discovered
that the Queen had given a private audience to Pulteney, afterwards Earl
of Bath, his most formidable and most inveterate enemy.
In thus maintaining occasional intercourse with several persons who
seemed most alienated from the crown, it may readily be supposed that
Queen Caroline had taken care not to break entirely with the Duke of
Argyle. His high birth, his great talents, the estimation in which he was
held in his own country, the great services which he had rendered the
house of Brunswick in 1715, placed him high in that rank of persons who
were not to be rashly neglected. He had, almost by his single and
unassisted talents, stopped the irruption of the banded force of all the
Highland chiefs; there was little doubt, that, with the slightest
encouragement, he could put them all in motion, and renew the civil war;
and it was well known that the most flattering overtures had been
transmitted to the Duke from the court of St. Germains. The character and
temper of Scotland was still little known, and it was considered as a
volcano, which might, indeed, slumber for a series of years, but was
still liable, at a moment the least expected, to break out into a
wasteful irruption. It was, therefore, of the highest importance to
retain come hold over so important a personage as the Duke of Argyle, and
Caroline preserved the power of doing so by means of a lady, with whom,
as wife of George II., she might have been supposed to be on less
It was not the least instance of the Queen's address, that she had
contrived that one of her principal attendants, Lady Suffolk, should
unite in her own person the two apparently inconsistent characters, of
her husband's mistress, and her own very obsequious and complaisant
confidant. By this dexterous management the Queen secured her power
against the danger which might most have threatened it--the thwarting
influence of an ambitious rival; and if she submitted to the
mortification of being obliged to connive at her husband's infidelity,
she was at least guarded against what she might think its most dangerous
effects, and was besides at liberty, now and then, to bestow a few civil
insults upon "her good Howard," whom, however, in general, she treated
with great decorum.*
* See Horace Walpole's Reminiscences.
Lady Suffolk lay under strong obligations to the Duke of Argyle, for
reasons which may be collected from Horace Walpole's Reminiscences of
that reign, and through her means the Duke had some occasional
correspondence with Queen Caroline, much interrupted, however, since the
part he had taken in the debate concerning the Porteous mob, an affair
which the Queen, though somewhat unreasonably, was disposed to resent,
rather as an intended and premeditated insolence to her own person and
authority, than as a sudden ebullition of popular vengeance. Still,
however, the communication remained open betwixt them, though it had been
of late disused on both sides. These remarks will be found necessary to
understand the scene which is about to be presented to the reader.
From the narrow alley which they had traversed, the Duke turned into one
of the same character, but broader and still longer. Here, for the first
time since they had entered these gardens, Jeanie saw persons approaching
They were two ladies; one of whom walked a little behind the other, yet
not so much as to prevent her from hearing and replying to whatever
observation was addressed to her by the lady who walked foremost, and
that without her having the trouble to turn her person. As they advanced
very slowly, Jeanie had time to study their features and appearance. The
Duke also slackened his pace, as if to give her time to collect herself,
and repeatedly desired her not to be afraid. The lady who seemed the
principal person had remarkably good features, though somewhat injured by
the small-pox, that venomous scourge which each village Esculapius
(thanks to Jenner) can now tame as easily as their tutelary deity subdued
the Python. The lady's eyes were brilliant, her teeth good, and her
countenance formed to express at will either majesty or courtesy. Her
form, though rather /embonpoint,/ was nevertheless graceful; and the
elasticity and firmness of her step gave no room to suspect, what was
actually the case, that she suffered occasionally from a disorder the
most unfavourable to pedestrian exercise. Her dress was rather rich than
gay, and her manner commanding and noble.
Her companion was of lower stature, with light brown hair and expressive
blue eyes. Her features, without being absolutely regular, were perhaps
more pleasing than if they had been critically handsome. A melancholy, or
at least a pensive expression, for which her lot gave too much cause,
predominated when she was silent, but gave way to a pleasing and
good-humoured smile when she spoke to any one.
When they were within twelve or fifteen yards of these ladies, the Duke
made a sign that Jeanie should stand still, and stepping forward himself,
with the grace which was natural to him, made a profound obeisance, which
was formally, yet in a dignified manner, returned by the personage whom
"I hope," she said, with an affable and condescending smile, "that I see
so great a stranger at court, as the Duke of Argyle has been of late, in
as good health as his friends there and elsewhere could wish him to
The Duke replied, "That he had been perfectly well;" and added, "that the
necessity of attending to the public business before the House, as well
as the time occupied by a late journey to Scotland, had rendered him less
assiduous in paying his duty at the levee and drawing-room than he could
"When your Grace /can/ find time for a duty so frivolous," replied the
Queen, "you are aware of your title to be well received. I hope my
readiness to comply with the wish which you expressed yesterday to Lady
Suffolk, is, a sufficient proof that one of the royal family, at least,
has not forgotten ancient and important services, in resenting something
which resembles recent neglect." This was said apparently with great good
humour, and in a tone which expressed a desire of conciliation.
The Duke replied, "That he would account himself the most unfortunate of
men, if he could be supposed capable of neglecting his duty, in modes and
circumstances when it was expected, and would have been agreeable. He was
deeply gratified by the honour which her Majesty was now doing to him
personally; and he trusted she would soon perceive that it was in a
matter essential to his Majesty's interest that he had the boldness to
give her this trouble."
"You cannot oblige me more, my Lord Duke," replied the Queen, "than by
giving me the advantage of your lights and experience on any point of the
King's service. Your Grace is aware, that I can only be the medium
through which the matter is subjected to his Majesty's superior wisdom;
but if it is a suit which respects your Grace personally, it shall lose
no support by being preferred through me."
"It is no suit of mine, madam," replied the Duke; "nor have I any to
prefer for myself personally, although I feel in full force my obligation
to your Majesty. It is a business which concerns his Majesty, as a lover
of justice and of mercy, and which, I am convinced, may be highly useful
in conciliating the unfortunate irritation which at present subsists
among his Majesty's good subjects in Scotland."
There were two parts of this speech disagreeable to Caroline. In the
first place, it removed the flattering notion she had adopted, that
Argyle designed to use her personal intercession in making his peace with
the administration, and recovering the employments of which he had been
deprived; and next, she was displeased that he should talk of the
discontents in Scotland as irritations to be conciliated, rather than
Under the influence of these feelings, she answered hastily, "That his
Majesty has good subjects in England, my Lord Duke, he is bound to thank
God and the laws--that he has subjects in Scotland, I think he may thank
God and his sword."
The Duke, though a courtier, coloured slightly, and the Queen, instantly
sensible of her error, added, without displaying the least change of
countenance, and as if the words had been an original branch of the
sentence--"And the swords of those real Scotchmen who are friends to the
House of Brunswick, particularly that of his Grace of Argyle."
"My sword, madam," replied the Duke, "like that of my fathers, has been
always at the command of my lawful king, and of my native country--I
trust it is impossible to separate their real rights and interests. But
the present is a matter of more private concern, and respects the person
of an obscure individual."
"What is the affair, my Lord?" said the Queen. "Let us find out what we
are talking about, lest we should misconstrue and misunderstand each
"The matter, madam," answered the Duke of Argyle, "regards the fate of an
unfortunate young woman in Scotland, now lying under sentence of death,
for a crime of which I think it highly probable that she is innocent. And
my humble petition to your Majesty is, to obtain your powerful
intercession with the King for a pardon."
It was now the Queen's turn to colour, and she did so over cheek and
brow, neck and bosom. She paused a moment as if unwilling to trust her
voice with the first expression of her displeasure; and on assuming the
air of dignity and an austere regard of control, she at length replied,
"My Lord Duke, I will not ask your motives for addressing to me a
request, which circumstances have rendered such an extraordinary one.
Your road to the King's closet, as a peer and a privy-councillor,
entitled to request an audience, was open, without giving me the pain of
this discussion. /I,/ at least, have had enough of Scotch pardons."
The Duke was prepared for this burst of indignation, and he was not
shaken by it. He did not attempt a reply while the Queen was in the first
heat of displeasure, but remained in the same firm, yet respectful
posture, which he had assumed during the interview. The Queen, trained
from her situation to self-command, instantly perceived the advantage she
might give against herself by yielding to passion; and added, in the same
condescending and affable tone in which she had opened the interview,
"You must allow me some of the privileges of the sex, my Lord; and do not
judge uncharitably of me, though I am a little moved at the recollection
of the gross insult and outrage done in your capital city to the royal
authority, at the very time when it was vested in my unworthy person.
Your Grace cannot be surprised that I should both have felt it at the
time, and recollected it now."
"It is certainly a matter not speedily to be forgotten," answered the
Duke. "My own poor thoughts of it have been long before your Majesty, and
I must have expressed myself very ill if I did not convey my detestation
of the murder which was committed under such extraordinary circumstances.
I might, indeed, be so unfortunate as to differ with his Majesty's
advisers on the degree in which it was either just or politic to punish
the innocent instead of the guilty. But I trust your Majesty will permit
me to be silent on a topic in which my sentiments have not the good
fortune to coincide with those of more able men."
"We will not prosecute a topic on which we may probably differ," said the
Queen. "One word, however, I may say in private--you know our good Lady
Suffolk is a little deaf--the Duke of Argyle, when disposed to renew his
acquaintance with his master and mistress, will hardly find many topics
on which we should disagree."
"Let me hope," said the Duke, bowing profoundly to so flattering an
intimation, "that I shall not be so unfortunate as to have found one on
the present occasion."
"I must first impose on your Grace the duty of confession," said the
Queen, "before I grant you absolution. What is your particular interest
in this young woman? She does not seem" (and she scanned Jeanie, as she
said this, with the eye of a connoisseur) "much qualified to alarm my
friend the Duchess's jealousy."
"I think your Majesty," replied the Duke, smiling in his turn, "will
allow my taste may be a pledge for me on that score."
"Then, though she has not much the air /d'une grande dame,/ I suppose she
is some thirtieth cousin in the terrible chapter of Scottish genealogy?"
"No, madam," said the Duke; "but I wish some of my nearer relations had
half her worth, honesty, and affection."
"Her name must be Campbell, at least?" said Queen Caroline.
"No, madam; her name is not quite so distinguished, if I may be permitted
to say so," answered the Duke.
"Ah! but she comes from Inverary or Argyleshire?" said the Sovereign.
"She has never been farther north in her life than Edinburgh, madam."
"Then my conjectures are all ended," said the Queen, "and your Grace must
yourself take the trouble to explain the affair of your prote'ge'e."
With that precision and easy brevity which is only acquired by habitually
conversing in the higher ranks of society, and which is the diametrical
opposite of that protracted style of disquisition,
Which squires call potter, and which men call prose,
the Duke explained the singular law under which Effie Deans had received
sentence of death, and detailed the affectionate exertions which Jeanie
had made in behalf of a sister, for whose sake she was willing to
sacrifice all but truth and conscience.
Queen Caroline listened with attention; she was rather fond, it must be
remembered, of an argument, and soon found matter in what the Duke told
her for raising difficulties to his request.
"It appears to me, my Lord," she replied, "that this is a severe law. But
still it is adopted upon good grounds, I am bound to suppose, as the law
of the country, and the girl has been convicted under it. The very
presumptions which the law construes into a positive proof of guilt exist
in her case; and all that your Grace has said concerning the possibility
of her innocence may be a very good argument for annulling the Act of
Parliament, but cannot, while it stands good, be admitted in favour of
any individual convicted upon the statute."
The Duke saw and avoided the snare, for he was conscious, that, by
replying to the argument, he must have been inevitably led to a
discussion, in the course of which the Queen was likely to be hardened
in her own opinion, until she became obliged, out of mere respect to
consistency, to let the criminal suffer.
"If your Majesty," he said, "would condescend to hear my poor
countrywoman herself, perhaps she may find an advocate in your own heart,
more able than I am, to combat the doubts suggested by your
The Queen seemed to acquiesce, and the Duke made a signal for Jeanie to
advance from the spot where she had hitherto remained watching
countenances, which were too long accustomed to suppress all apparent
signs of emotion, to convey to her any interesting intelligence. Her
Majesty could not help smiling at the awe-struck manner in which the
quiet demure figure of the little Scotchwoman advanced towards her, and
yet more at the first sound of her broad northern accent. But Jeanie had
a voice low and sweetly toned, an admirable thing in woman, and eke
besought "her Leddyship to have pity on a poor misguided young creature,"
in tones so affecting, that, like the notes of some of her native songs,
provincial vulgarity was lost in pathos.
"Stand up, young woman," said the Queen, but in a kind tone, "and tell me
what sort of a barbarous people your country-folk are, where child-murder
is become so common as to require the restraint of laws like yours?"
"If your Leddyship pleases," answered Jeanie, "there are mony places
besides Scotland where mothers are unkind to their ain flesh and blood."
It must be observed, that the disputes between George the Second and
Frederick Prince of Wales were then at the highest, and that the
good-natured part of the public laid the blame on the Queen. She coloured
highly, and darted a glance of a most penetrating character first at
Jeanie, and then at the Duke. Both sustained it unmoved; Jeanie from
total unconsciousness of the offence she had given, and the Duke from his
habitual composure. But in his heart he thought, My unlucky /protegee/
has with this luckless answer shot dead, by a kind of chance-medley, her
only hope of success.
Lady Suffolk, good-humouredly and skilfully, interposed in this awkward
crisis. "You should tell this lady," she said to Jeanie, "the particular
causes which render this crime common in your country."
"Some thinks it's the Kirk-session--that is--it's the--it's the
cutty-stool, if your Leddyship pleases," said Jeanie, looking down and
"The what?" said Lady Suffolk, to whom the phrase was new, and who
besides was rather deaf.
"That's the stool of repentance, madam, if it please your Leddyship,"
answered Jeanie, "for light life and conversation, and for breaking the
seventh command." Here she raised her eyes to the Duke, saw his hand at
his chin, and, totally unconscious of what she had said out of joint,
gave double effect to the innuendo, by stopping short and looking
As for Lady Suffolk, she retired like a covering party, which, having
interposed betwixt their retreating friends and the enemy, have suddenly
drawn on themselves a fire unexpectedly severe.
The deuce take the lass, thought the Duke of Argyle to himself; there
goes another shot--and she has hit with both barrels right and left!
Indeed the Duke had himself his share of the confusion, for, having acted
as master of ceremonies to this innocent offender, he felt much in the
circumstances of a country squire, who, having introduced his spaniel
into a well-appointed drawing-room, is doomed to witness the disorder and
damage which arises to china and to dress-gowns, in consequence of its
untimely frolics. Jeanie's last chance-hit, however, obliterated the ill
impression which had arisen from the first; for her Majesty had not so
lost the feelings of a wife in those of a Queen, but that she could enjoy
a jest at the expense of "her good Suffolk." She turned towards the Duke
of Argyle with a smile, which marked that she enjoyed the triumph, and
observed, "The Scotch are a rigidly moral people." Then, again applying
herself to Jeanie, she asked how she travelled up from Scotland.
"Upon my foot mostly, madam," was the reply.
"What, all that immense way upon foot?--How far can you walk in a day."
"Five-and-twenty miles and a bittock."
"And a what?" said the Queen, looking towards the Duke of Argyle.
"And about five miles more," replied the Duke.
"I thought I was a good walker," said the Queen, "but this shames me
"May your Leddyship never hae sae weary a heart, that ye canna be
sensible of the weariness of the limbs," said Jeanie. That came better
off, thought the Duke; it's the first thing she has said to the purpose.
"And I didna just a'thegither walk the haill way neither, for I had
whiles the cast of a cart; and I had the cast of a horse from
Ferrybridge--and divers other easements," said Jeanie, cutting short her
story, for she observed the Duke made the sign he had fixed upon.
"With all these accommodations," answered the Queen, "you must have had a
very fatiguing journey, and, I fear, to little purpose; since, if the
King were to pardon your sister, in all probability it would do her
little good, for I suppose your people of Edinburgh would hang her out of
She will sink herself now outright, thought the Duke.
But he was wrong. The shoals on which Jeanie had touched in this delicate
conversation lay under ground, and were unknown to her; this rock was
above water, and she avoided it.
"She was confident," she said, "that baith town and country wad rejoice
to see his Majesty taking compassion on a poor unfriended creature."
"His Majesty has not found it so in a late instance," said the Queen;
"but I suppose my Lord Duke would advise him to be guided by the votes of
the rabble themselves, who should be hanged and who spared?"
"No, madam," said the Duke; "but I would advise his Majesty to be guided
by his own feelings, and those of his royal consort; and then I am sure
punishment will only attach itself to guilt, and even then with cautious
"Well, my Lord," said her Majesty, "all these fine speeches do not
convince me of the propriety of so soon showing any mark of favour to
your--I suppose I must not say rebellious?--but, at least, your very
disaffected and intractable metropolis. Why, the whole nation is in a
league to screen the savage and abominable murderers of that unhappy man;
otherwise, how is it possible but that, of so many perpetrators, and
engaged in so public an action for such a length of time, one at least
must have been recognised? Even this wench, for aught I can tell, may be
a depositary of the secret.--Hark you, young woman, had you any friends
engaged in the Porteous mob?"
"No, madam," answered Jeanie, happy that the question was so framed that
she could, with a good conscience, answer it in the negative.
"But I suppose," continued the Queen, "if you were possessed of such a
secret, you would hold it a matter of conscience to keep it to yourself?"
"I would pray to be directed and guided what was the line of duty,
madam," answered Jeanie.
"Yes, and take that which suited your own inclinations," replied her
"If it like you, madam," said Jeanie, "I would hae gaen to the end of the
earth to save the life of John Porteous, or any other unhappy man in his
condition; but I might lawfully doubt how far I am called upon to be the
avenger of his blood, though it may become the civil magistrate to do so.
He is dead and gane to his place, and they that have slain him must
answer for their ain act. But my sister, my puir sister, Effie, still
lives, though her days and hours are numbered! She still lives, and a
word of the King's mouth might restore her to a brokenhearted auld man,
that never in his daily and nightly exercise, forgot to pray that his
Majesty might be blessed with a long and a prosperous reign, and that his
throne, and the throne of his posterity, might be established in
righteousness. O madam, if ever ye kend what it was to sorrow for and
with a sinning and a suffering creature, whose mind is sae tossed that
she can be neither ca'd fit to live or die, have some compassion on our
misery!--Save an honest house from dishonour, and an unhappy girl, not
eighteen years of age, from an early and dreadful death! Alas! it is not
when we sleep soft and wake merrily ourselves that we think on other
people's sufferings. Our hearts are waxed light within us then, and we
are for righting our ain wrangs and fighting our ain battles. But when
the hour of trouble comes to the mind or to the body--and seldom may it
visit your Leddyship--and when the hour of death comes, that comes to
high and low--lang and late may it be yours!--Oh, my Leddy, then it isna
what we hae dune for oursells, but what we hae dune for others, that we
think on maist pleasantly. And the thoughts that ye hae intervened to
spare the puir thing's life will be sweeter in that hour, come when it
may, than if a word of your mouth could hang the haill Porteous mob at
the tail of ae tow."
Tear followed tear down Jeanie's cheeks, as, her features glowing and
quivering with emotion, she pleaded her sister's cause with a pathos
which was at once simple and solemn.
"This is eloquence," said her Majesty to the Duke of Argyle. "Young
woman," she continued, addressing herself to Jeanie, "/I/ cannot grant a
pardon to your sister--but you shall not want my warm intercession with
his Majesty. Take this house-wife case," she continued, putting a small
embroidered needle-case into Jeanie's hands; "do not open it now, but at
your leisure--you will find something in it which will remind you that
you have had an interview with Queen Caroline."
Jeanie, having her suspicions thus confirmed, dropped on her knees, and
would have expanded herself in gratitude; but the Duke who was upon
thorns lest she should say more or less than just enough, touched his
chin once more.
"Our business is, I think, ended for the present, my Lord Duke," said the
Queen, "and, I trust, to your satisfaction. Hereafter I hope to see your
Grace more frequently, both at Richmond and St. James's.--Come Lady
Suffolk, we must wish his Grace good-morning."
They exchanged their parting reverences, and the Duke, so soon as the
ladies had turned their backs, assisted Jeanie to rise from the ground,
and conducted her back through the avenue, which she trode with the
feeling of one who walks in her sleep.
So soon as I can win the offended king,
I will be known your advocate.
The Duke of Argyle led the way in silence to the small postern by which
they had been admitted into Richmond Park, so long the favourite
residence of Queen Caroline. It was opened by the same half-seen janitor,
and they found themselves beyond the precincts of the royal demesne.
Still not a word was spoken on either side. The Duke probably wished to
allow his rustic prote'ge'e time to recruit her faculties, dazzled and
sunk with colloquy sublime; and betwixt what she had guessed, had heard,
and had seen, Jeanie Deans's mind was too much agitated to permit her to
ask any questions.
They found the carriage of the Duke in the place where they had left it;
and when they resumed their places, soon began to advance rapidly on
their return to town.
"I think, Jeanie," said the Duke, breaking silence, "you have every
reason to congratulate yourself on the issue of your interview with her
"And that leddy was the Queen herself?" said Jeanie; "I misdoubted it
when I saw that your honour didna put on your hat--And yet I can hardly
believe it, even when I heard her speak it herself."
"It was certainly Queen Caroline," replied the Duke. "Have you no
curiosity to see what is in the little pocket-book?"
"Do you think the pardon will be in it, sir?" said Jeanie, with the eager
animation of hope.
"Why, no," replied the Duke; "that is unlikely. They seldom carry these
things about them, unless they were likely to be wanted; and, besides,
her Majesty told you it was the King, not she, who was to grant it."
"That is true, too," said Jeanie; "but I am so confused in my mind--But
does your honour think there is a certainty of Effie's pardon then?"
continued she, still holding in her hand the unopened pocket-book.
"Why, kings are kittle cattle to shoe behind, as we say in the north,"
replied the Duke; "but his wife knows his trim, and I have not the least
doubt that the matter is quite certain."
"Oh, God be praised! God be praised!" ejaculated Jeanie; "and may the
gude leddy never want the heart's ease she has gien me at this moment!--
And God bless you too, my Lord!--without your help I wad ne'er hae won
The Duke let her dwell upon this subject for a considerable time,
curious, perhaps, to see how long the feelings of gratitude would
continue to supersede those of curiosity. But so feeble was the latter
feeling in Jeanie's mind, that his Grace, with whom, perhaps, it was for
the time a little stronger, was obliged once more to bring forward the
subject of the Queen's present. It was opened accordingly. In the inside
of the case was the usual assortment of silk and needles, with scissors,
tweezers, etc.; and in the pocket was a bank-bill for fifty pounds.
The Duke had no sooner informed Jeanie of the value of this last
document, for she was unaccustomed to see notes for such sums, than she
expressed her regret at the mistake which had taken place. "For the hussy
itsell," she said, "was a very valuable thing for a keepsake, with the
Queen's name written in the inside with her ain hand doubtless--
/Caroline/--as plain as could be, and a crown drawn aboon it."
She therefore tendered the bill to the Duke, requesting him to find some
mode of returning it to the royal owner.
"No, no, Jeanie," said the Duke, "there is no mistake in the case. Her
Majesty knows you have been put to great expense, and she wishes to make
it up to you."
"I am sure she is even ower gude," said Jeanie, "and it glads me muckle
that I can pay back Dumbiedikes his siller, without distressing my
father, honest man."
"Dumbiedikes! What, a freeholder of Mid-Lothian, is he not?" said his
Grace, whose occasional residence in that county made him acquainted with
most of the heritors, as landed persons are termed in Scotland.--"He has
a house not far from Dalkeith, wears a black wig and a laced hat?"
"Yes sir," answered Jeanie, who had her reasons for being brief in her
answers upon this topic.
"Ah, my old friend Dumbie!" said the Duke; "I have thrice seen him fou,
and only once heard the sound of his voice--Is he a cousin of yours,
"No, sir,--my Lord."
"Then he must be a well-wisher, I suspect?"
"Ye--yes,--my Lord, sir," answered Jeanie, blushing, and with hesitation.
"Aha! then, if the Laird starts, I suppose my friend Butler must be in
"O no, sir," answered Jeanie, much more readily, but at the same time
blushing much more deeply.
"Well, Jeanie," said the Duke, "you are a girl may be safely trusted with
your own matters, and I shall inquire no farther about them. But as to
this same pardon, I must see to get it passed through the proper forms;
and I have a friend in office who will for auld lang syne, do me so much
favour. And then, Jeanie, as I shall have occasion to send an express
down to Scotland, who will travel with it safer and more swiftly than you
can do, I will take care to have it put into the proper channel;
meanwhile you may write to your friends by post of your good success."
"And does your Honour think," said Jeanie, "that will do as weel as if I
were to take my tap in my lap, and slip my ways hame again on my ain
"Much better, certainly," said the Duke. "You know the roads are not very
safe for a single woman to travel."
Jeanie internally acquiesced in this observation.
"And I have a plan for you besides. One of the Duchess's attendants, and
one of mine--your acquaintance Archibald--are going down to Inverary in a
light calash, with four horses I have bought, and there is room enough in
the carriage for you to go with them as far as Glasgow, where Archibald
will find means of sending you safely to Edinburgh.--And in the way I beg
you will teach the woman as much as you can of the mystery of
cheese-making, for she is to have a charge in the dairy, and I dare swear
you are as tidy about your milk-pail as about your dress."
"Does your Honour like cheese?" said Jeanie, with a gleam of conscious
delight as she asked the question.
"Like it?" said the Duke, whose good-nature anticipated what was to
follow,--"cakes and cheese are a dinner for an emperor, let alone a
"Because," said Jeanie, with modest confidence, and great and evident
self-gratulation, "we have been thought so particular in making cheese,
that some folk think it as gude as the real Dunlop; and if your honour's
Grace wad but accept a stane or twa, blithe, and fain, and proud it wad
make us? But maybe ye may like the ewe-milk, that is, the Buckholmside*
* The hilly pastures of Buckholm, which the Author now surveys,--"Not in
the frenzy of a dreamer's eye,"--are famed for producing the best
ewe-milk cheese in the south of Scotland.
better; or maybe the gait-milk, as ye come frae the Highlands--and I
canna pretend just to the same skeel o' them; but my cousin Jean, that
lives at Lockermachus in Lammermuir, I could speak to her, and--"
"Quite unnecessary," said the Duke; "the Dunlop is the very cheese of
which I am so fond, and I will take it as the greatest favour you can do
me to send one to Caroline Park. But remember, be on honour with it,
Jeanie, and make it all yourself, for I am a real good judge."
"I am not feared," said Jeanie, confidently, "that I may please your
Honour; for I am sure you look as if you could hardly find fault wi'
onybody that did their best; and weel is it my part, I trow, to do mine."
This discourse introduced a topic upon which the two travellers, though
so different in rank and education, found each a good deal to say. The
Duke, besides his other patriotic qualities, was a distinguished
agriculturist, and proud of his knowledge in that department. He
entertained Jeanie with his observations on the different breeds of
cattle in Scotland, and their capacity for the dairy, and received so
much information from her practical experience in return, that he
promised her a couple of Devonshire cows in reward for the lesson. In
short his mind was so transported back to his rural employments and
amusements, that he sighed when his carriage stopped opposite to the old
hackney-coach, which Archibald had kept in attendance at the place where
they had left it. While the coachman again bridled his lean cattle, which
had been indulged with a bite of musty hay, the Duke cautioned Jeanie not
to be too communicative to her landlady concerning what had passed.
"There is," he said, "no use of speaking of matters till they are
actually settled; and you may refer the good lady to Archibald, if she
presses you hard with questions. She is his old acquaintance, and he
knows how to manage with her."
He then took a cordial farewell of Jeanie, and told her to be ready in
the ensuing week to return to Scotland--saw her safely established in her
hackney-coach, and rolled of in his own carriage, humming a stanza of the
ballad which he is said to have composed:--
"At the sight of Dumbarton once again,
I'll cock up my bonnet and march amain,
With my claymore hanging down to my heel,
To whang at the bannocks of barley meal."
Perhaps one ought to be actually a Scotsman to conceive how ardently,
under all distinctions of rank and situation, they feel their mutual
connection with each other as natives of the same country. There are, I
believe, more associations common to the inhabitants of a rude and wild,
than of a well-cultivated and fertile country; their ancestors have more
seldom changed their place of residence; their mutual recollection of
remarkable objects is more accurate; the high and the low are more
interested in each other's welfare; the feelings of kindred and
relationship are more widely extended, and in a word, the bonds of
patriotic affection, always honourable even when a little too exclusively
strained, have more influence on men's feelings and actions.
The rumbling hackney-coach, which tumbled over the (then) execrable
London pavement, at a rate very different from that which had conveyed
the ducal carriage to Richmond, at length deposited Jeanie Deans and her
attendant at the national sign of the Thistle. Mrs. Glass, who had been
in long and anxious expectation, now rushed, full of eager curiosity and
open-mouthed interrogation, upon our heroine, who was positively unable
to sustain the overwhelming cataract of her questions, which burst forth
with the sublimity of a grand gardyloo:--
"Had she seen the Duke, God bless him--the Duchess--the young ladies?--
Had she seen the King, God bless him--the Queen--the Prince of Wales--the
Princess--or any of the rest of the royal family?--Had she got her
sister's pardon?--Was it out and out--or was it only a commutation of
punishment?--How far had she gone--where had she driven to--whom had she
seen--what had been said--what had kept her so long?"
Such were the various questions huddled upon each other by a curiosity so
eager, that it could hardly wait for its own gratification. Jeanie would
have been more than sufficiently embarrassed by this overbearing tide of
interrogations, had not Archibald, who had probably received from his
master a hint to that purpose, advanced to her rescue. "Mrs. Glass," said
Archibald, "his Grace desired me particularly to say, that he would take
it as a great favour if you would ask the young woman no questions, as he
wishes to explain to you more distinctly than she can do how her affairs
stand, and consult you on some matters which she cannot altogether so
well explain. The Duke will call at the Thistle to-morrow or next day for
"His Grace is very condescending," said Mrs. Glass, her zeal for inquiry
slaked for the present by the dexterous administration of this sugar
plum--"his Grace is sensible that I am in a manner accountable for the
conduct of my young kinswoman, and no doubt his Grace is the best judge
how far he should intrust her or me with the management of her affairs."
"His Grace is quite sensible of that," answered Archibald, with national
gravity, "and will certainly trust what he has to say to the most
discreet of the two; and therefore, Mrs. Glass, his Grace relies you will
speak nothing to Mrs. Jean Deans, either of her own affairs or her
sister's, until he sees you himself. He desired me to assure you, in the
meanwhile, that all was going on as well as your kindness could wish,
"His Grace is very kind--very considerate, certainly, Mr. Archibald--his
Grace's commands shall be obeyed, and--But you have had a far drive, Mr.
Archibald, as I guess by the time of your absence, and I guess" (with an
engaging smile) "you winna be the waur o' a glass of the right Rosa
"I thank you, Mrs. Glass," said the great man's great man, "but I am
under the necessity of returning to my Lord directly." And, making his
adieus civilly to both cousins, he left the shop of the Lady of the
"I am glad your affairs have prospered so well, Jeanie, my love," said
Mrs. Glass; "though, indeed, there was little fear of them so soon as the
Duke of Argyle was so condescending as to take them into hand. I will ask
you no questions about them, because his Grace, who is most considerate
and prudent in such matters, intends to tell me all that you ken
yourself, dear, and doubtless a great deal more; so that anything that
may lie heavily on your mind may be imparted to me in the meantime, as
you see it is his Grace's pleasure that I should be made acquainted with
the whole matter forthwith, and whether you or he tells it, will make no
difference in the world, ye ken. If I ken what he is going to say
beforehand, I will be much more ready to give my advice, and whether you
or he tell me about it, cannot much signify after all, my dear. So you
may just say whatever you like, only mind I ask you no questions about
Jeanie was a little embarrassed. She thought that the communication she
had to make was perhaps the only means she might have in her power to
gratify her friendly and hospitable kinswoman. But her prudence instantly
suggested that her secret interview with Queen Caroline, which seemed to
pass under a certain sort of mystery, was not a proper subject for the
gossip of a woman like Mrs. Glass, of whose heart she had a much better
opinion than of her prudence. She, therefore, answered in general, that
the Duke had had the extraordinary kindness to make very particular
inquiries into her sister's bad affair, and that he thought he had found
the means of putting it a' straight again, but that he proposed to tell
all that he thought about the matter to Mrs. Glass herself.
This did not quite satisfy the penetrating mistress of the Thistle.
Searching as her own small rappee, she, in spite of her promise, urged
Jeanie with still farther questions. "Had she been a' that time at Argyle
House? Was the Duke with her the whole time? and had she seen the
Duchess? and had she seen the young ladies--and specially Lady Caroline
Campbell?"--To these questions Jeanie gave the general reply, that she
knew so little of the town that she could not tell exactly where she had
been; that she had not seen the Duchess to her knowledge; that she had
seen two ladies, one of whom, she understood, bore the name of Caroline;
and more, she said, she could not tell about the matter.
"It would be the Duke's eldest daughter, Lady Caroline Campbell, there is
no doubt of that," said Mrs. Glass; "but doubtless, I shall know more
particularly through his Grace.--And so, as the cloth is laid in the
little parlour above stairs, and it is past three o'clock, for I have
been waiting this hour for you, and I have had a snack myself; and, as
they used to say in Scotland in my time--I do not ken if the word be used
now--there is ill talking between a full body and a fasting."
Heaven first taught letters for some wretch's aid,--
Some banished lover or some captive maid.
By dint of unwonted labour with the pen, Jeanie Deans contrived to
indite, and give to the charge of the postman on the ensuing day, no less
than three letters, an exertion altogether strange to her habits;
insomuch so, that, if milk had been plenty, she would rather have made
thrice as many Dunlop cheeses. The first of them was very brief. It was
addressed to George Staunton, Esq., at the Rectory, Willingham, by
Grantham; the address being part of the information she had extracted
from the communicative peasant who rode before her to Stamford. It was in
"Sir,--To prevent farder mischieves, whereof there hath been enough,
comes these: Sir, I have my sister's pardon from the Queen's Majesty,
whereof I do not doubt you will be glad, having had to say naut of
matters whereof you know the purport. So, Sir, I pray for your better
welfare in bodie and soul, and that it will please the fisycian to visit
you in His good time. Alwaies, sir, I pray you will never come again to
see my sister, whereof there has been too much. And so, wishing you no
evil, but even your best good, that you may be turned from your iniquity
(for why suld ye die?) I rest your humble servant to command,
"/Ye ken wha./"
The next letter was to her father. It is too long altogether for
insertion, so we only give a few extracts. It commenced--
"Dearest and truly honoured father,--This comes with my duty to inform
you, that it has pleased God to redeem that captivitie of my poor sister,
in respect the Queen's blessed Majesty, for whom we are ever bound to
pray, hath redeemed her soul from the slayer, granting the ransom of her,
whilk is ane pardon or reprieve. And I spoke with the Queen face to face
and yet live; for she is not muckle differing from other grand leddies,
saying that she has a stately presence, and een like a blue huntin'
hawk's, whilk gaed throu' and throu' me like a Highland durk--And all
this good was, alway under the Great Giver, to whom all are but
instruments, wrought forth for us by the Duk of Argile, wha is ane native
true-hearted Scotsman, and not pridefu', like other folk we ken of--and
likewise skeely enow in bestial, whereof he has promised to gie me twa
Devonshire kye, of which he is enamoured, although I do still haud by the
real hawlit Airshire breed--and I have promised him a cheese; and I wad
wuss ye, if Gowans, the brockit cow, has a quey, that she suld suck her
fill of milk, as I am given to understand he has none of that breed, and
is not scornfu' but will take a thing frae a puir body, that it may
lighten their heart of the loading of debt that they awe him. Also his
honour the Duke will accept ane of our Dunlop cheeses, and it sall be my
faut if a better was ever yearned in Lowden."--[Here follow some
observations respecting the breed of cattle, and the produce of the
dairy, which it is our intention to forward to the Board of
Agriculture.]--"Nevertheless, these are but matters of the after-harvest,
in respect of the great good which Providence hath gifted us with--and,
in especial, poor Effie's life. And oh, my dear father, since it hath
pleased God to be merciful to her, let her not want your free pardon,
whilk will make her meet to be ane vessel of grace, and also a comfort to
your ain graie hairs. Dear Father, will ye let the Laird ken that we have
had friends strangely raised up to us, and that the talent whilk he lent
me will be thankfully repaid. I hae some of it to the fore; and the rest
of it is not knotted up in ane purse or napkin, but in ane wee bit paper,
as is the fashion heir, whilk I am assured is gude for the siller. And,
dear father, through Mr. Butler's means I hae gude friendship with the
Duke, for their had been kindness between their forbears in the auld
troublesome time bye-past. And Mrs. Glass has been kind like my very
mother. She has a braw house here, and lives bien and warm, wi' twa
servant lasses, and a man and a callant in the shop. And she is to send
you doun a pound of her hie-dried, and some other tobaka, and we maun
think of some propine for her, since her kindness hath been great. And
the Duk is to send the pardun doun by an express messenger, in respect
that I canna travel sae fast; and I am to come doun wi' twa of his
Honour's servants--that is, John Archibald, a decent elderly gentleman,
that says he has seen you lang syne, when ye were buying beasts in the
west frae the Laird of Aughtermuggitie--but maybe ye winna mind him--ony
way, he's a civil man--and Mrs. Dolly Dutton, that is to be dairy-maid at
Inverara; and they bring me on as far as Glasgo, whilk will make it nae
pinch to win hame, whilk I desire of all things. May the Giver of all
good things keep ye in your outgauns and incomings, whereof devoutly
prayeth your loving dauter,
The third letter was to Butler, and its tenor as follows:--
"Master Butler.--Sir,--It will be pleasure to you to ken, that all I came
for is, thanks be to God, weel dune and to the gude end, and that your
forbear's letter was right welcome to the Duke of Argile, and that he
wrote your name down with a kylevine pen in a leathern book, whereby it
seems like he will do for you either wi' a scule or a kirk; he has enow
of baith, as I am assured. And I have seen the queen, which gave me a
hussy-case out of her own hand. She had not her crown and skeptre, but
they are laid by for her, like the bairns' best claise, to be worn when
she needs them. And they are keepit in a tour, whilk is not like the tour
of Libberton, nor yet Craigmillar, but mair like to the castell of
Edinburgh, if the buildings were taen and set down in the midst of the
Nor'-Loch. Also the Queen was very bounteous, giving me a paper worth
fiftie pounds, as I am assured, to pay my expenses here and back agen.
Sae, Master Butler, as we were aye neebours' bairns, forby onything else
that may hae been spoken between us, I trust you winna skrimp yoursell
for what is needfu' for your health, since it signifies not muckle whilk
o' us has the siller, if the other wants it. And mind this is no meant to
haud ye to onything whilk ye wad rather forget, if ye suld get a charge
of a kirk or a scule, as above said. Only I hope it will be a scule, and
not a kirk, because of these difficulties anent aiths and patronages,
whilk might gang ill down wi' my honest father. Only if ye could compass
a harmonious call frae the parish of Skreegh-me-dead, as ye anes had hope
of, I trow it wad please him weel; since I hae heard him say, that the
root of the matter was mair deeply hafted in that wild muirland parish
than in the Canongate of Edinburgh. I wish I had whaten books ye wanted,
Mr. Butler, for they hae haill houses of them here, and they are obliged
to set sum out in the street, whilk are sald cheap, doubtless, to get
them out of the weather. It is a muckle place, and I hae seen sae muckle
of it, that my poor head turns round. And ye ken langsyne, I am nae great
pen-woman, and it is near eleven o'clock o' the night. I am cumming down
in good company, and safe--and I had troubles in gaun up whilk makes me
blither of travelling wi' kend folk. My cousin, Mrs. Glass, has a braw
house here, but a' thing is sae poisoned wi' snuff, that I am like to be
scomfished whiles. But what signifies these things, in comparison of the
great deliverance whilk has been vouchsafed to my father's house, in
whilk you, as our auld and dear well-wisher, will, I dout not, rejoice
and be exceedingly glad. And I am, dear Mr. Butler, your sincere
well-wisher in temporal and eternal things,
After these labours of an unwonted kind, Jeanie retired to her bed, yet
scarce could sleep a few minutes together, so often was she awakened by
the heart-stirring consciousness of her sister's safety, and so
powerfully urged to deposit her burden of joy, where she had before laid
her doubts and sorrows, in the warm and sincere exercises of devotion.
All the next, and all the succeeding day, Mrs. Glass fidgeted about her
shop in the agony of expectation, like a pea (to use a vulgar simile
which her profession renders appropriate) upon one of her own tobacco
pipes. With the third morning came the expected coach, with four servants
clustered behind on the footboard, in dark brown and yellow liveries; the
Duke in person, with laced coat, gold-headed cane, star and garter, all,
as the story-book says, very grand.
He inquired for his little countrywoman of Mrs. Glass, but without
requesting to see her, probably because he was unwilling to give an
appearance of personal intercourse betwixt them, which scandal might have
misinterpreted. "The Queen," he said to Mrs. Glass, "had taken the case
of her kinswoman into her gracious consideration, and being specially
moved by the affectionate and resolute character of the elder sister, had
condescended to use her powerful intercession with his Majesty, in
consequence of which a pardon had been despatched to Scotland to Effie
Deans, on condition of her banishing herself forth of Scotland for
fourteen years. The King's Advocate had insisted," he said, "upon this
qualification of the pardon, having pointed out to his Majesty's
ministers, that, within the course of only seven years, twenty-one
instances of child-murder had occurred in Scotland.
"Weary on him!" said Mrs. Glass, "what for needed he to have telled that
of his ain country, and to the English folk abune a'? I used aye to think
the Advocate a douce decent man, but it is an ill bird*--begging your
Grace's pardon for speaking of such a coorse by-word.
* [It's an ill bird that fouls its own pest.]
And then what is the poor lassie to do in a foreign land?--Why, wae's me,
it's just sending her to play the same pranks ower again, out of sight or
guidance of her friends."
"Pooh! pooh!" said the Duke, "that need not be anticipated. Why, she may
come up to London, or she may go over to America, and marry well for all
that is come and gone."
"In troth, and so she may, as your Grace is pleased to intimate," replied
Mrs. Glass; "and now I think upon it, there is my old correspondent in
Virginia, Ephraim Buckskin, that has supplied the Thistle this forty
years with tobacco, and it is not a little that serves our turn, and he
has been writing to me this ten years to send him out a wife. The carle
is not above sixty, and hale and hearty, and well to pass in the world,
and a line from my hand would settle the matter, and Effie Deans's
misfortune (forby that there is no special occasion to speak about it)
would be thought little of there."
"Is she a pretty girl?" said the Duke; "her sister does not get beyond a
good comely sonsy lass."
"Oh, far prettier is Effie than Jeanie," said Mrs. Glass; "though it is
long since I saw her mysell, but I hear of the Deanses by all my Lowden
friends when they come--your Grace kens we Scots are clannish bodies."
"So much the better for us," said the Duke, "and the worse for those who
meddle with us, as your good old-fashioned sign says, Mrs. Glass. And now
I hope you will approve of the measures I have taken for restoring your
kinswoman to her friends." These he detailed at length, and Mrs. Glass
gave her unqualified approbation, with a smile and a courtesy at every
sentence. "And now, Mrs. Glass, you must tell Jeanie, I hope, she will
not forget my cheese when she gets down to Scotland. Archibald has my
orders to arrange all her expenses."
"Begging your Grace's humble pardon," said Mrs. Glass, "it is a pity to
trouble yourself about them; the Deanses are wealthy people in their way,
and the lass has money in her pocket."
"That's all very true," said the Duke; "but you know, where MacCallummore
travels he pays all; it is our Highland privilege to take from all what
/we/ want, and to give to all what /they/ want."
"Your Grace is better at giving than taking," said Mrs. Glass.
"To show you the contrary," said the Duke, "I will fill my box out of
this canister without paying you a bawbee;" and again desiring to be
remembered to Jeanie, with his good wishes for her safe journey, he
departed, leaving Mrs. Glass uplifted in heart and in countenance, the
proudest and happiest of tobacco and snuff dealers.
Reflectively, his Grace's good humour and affability had a favourable
effect upon Jeanie's situation.--Her kinswoman, though civil and kind to
her, had acquired too much of London breeding to be perfectly satisfied
with her cousin's rustic and national dress, and was, besides, something
scandalised at the cause of her journey to London. Mrs. Glass might,
therefore, have been less sedulous in her attentions towards Jeanie, but
for the interest which the foremost of the Scottish nobles (for such, in
all men's estimation, was the Duke of Argyle) seemed to take in her fate.
Now, however, as a kinswoman whose virtues and domestic affections had
attracted the notice and approbation of royalty itself, Jeanie stood to
her relative in a light very different and much more favourable, and was
not only treated with kindness, but with actual observance and respect.
It depended on herself alone to have made as many visits, and seen as
many sights, as lay within Mrs. Glass's power to compass. But, excepting
that she dined abroad with one or two "far away kinsfolk," and that she
paid the same respect, on Mrs. Glass's strong urgency, to Mrs. Deputy
Dabby, wife of the Worshipful Mr. Deputy Dabby, of Farringdon Without,
she did not avail herself of the opportunity. As Mrs. Dabby was the
second lady of great rank whom Jeanie had seen in London, she used
sometimes afterwards to draw a parallel betwixt her and the Queen, in
which she observed, "that Mrs. Dabby was dressed twice as grand, and was
twice as big, and spoke twice as loud, and twice as muckle, as the Queen
did, but she hadna the same goss-hawk glance that makes the skin creep,
and the knee bend; and though she had very kindly gifted her with a loaf
of sugar and twa punds of tea, yet she hadna a'thegither the sweet look
that the Queen had when she put the needle-book into her hand."
Jeanie might have enjoyed the sights and novelties of this great city
more, had it not been for the qualification added to her sister's pardon,
which greatly grieved her affectionate disposition. On this subject,
however, her mind was somewhat relieved by a letter which she received in
return of post, in answer to that which she had written to her father.
With his affectionate blessing, it brought his full approbation of the
step which she had taken, as one inspired by the immediate dictates of
Heaven, and which she had been thrust upon in order that she might become
the means of safety to a perishing household.
"If ever a deliverance was dear and precious, this," said the letter, "is
a dear and precious deliverance--and if life saved can be made more sweet
and savoury, it is when it cometh by the hands of those whom we hold in
the ties of affection. And do not let your heart be disquieted within
you, that this victim, who is rescued from the horns of the altar,
whereuntil she was fast bound by the chains of human law, is now to be
driven beyond the bounds of our land. Scotland is a blessed land to those
who love the ordinances of Christianity, and it is a faer land to look
upon, and dear to them who have dwelt in it a' their days; and weel said
that judicious Christian, worthy John Livingstone, a sailor in
Borrowstouness, as the famous Patrick Walker reporteth his words, that
howbeit he thought Scotland was a Gehennah of wickedness when he was at
home, yet when he was abroad, he accounted it ane paradise; for the evils
of Scotland he found everywhere, and the good of Scotland he found
nowhere. But we are to hold in remembrance that Scotland, though it be
our native land, and the land of our fathers, is not like Goshen, in
Egypt, on whilk the sun of the heavens and of the gospel shineth
allenarly, and leaveth the rest of the world in utter darkness.
Therefore, and also because this increase of profit at Saint Leonard's
Crags may be a cauld waff of wind blawing from the frozen land of earthly
self, where never plant of grace took root or grew, and because my
concerns make me take something ower muckle a grip of the gear of the
warld in mine arms, I receive this dispensation anent Effie as a call to
depart out of Haran, as righteous Abraham of old, and leave my father's
kindred and my mother's house, and the ashes and mould of them who have
gone to sleep before me, and which wait to be mingled with these auld
crazed bones of mine own. And my heart is lightened to do this, when I
call to mind the decay of active and earnest religion in this land, and
survey the height and the depth, the length and the breadth, of national
defections, and how the love of many is waxing lukewarm and cold; and I
am strengthened in this resolution to change my domicile likewise, as I
hear that store-farms are to be set at an easy mail in Northumberland,
where there are many precious souls that are of our true though suffering
persuasion. And sic part of the kye or stock as I judge it fit to keep,
may be driven thither without incommodity--say about Wooler, or that
gate, keeping aye a shouther to the hills,--and the rest may be sauld to
gude profit and advantage, if we had grace weel to use and guide these
gifts of the warld. The Laird has been a true friend on our unhappy
occasions, and I have paid him back the siller for Effie's misfortune,
whereof Mr. Nichil Novit returned him no balance, as the Laird and I did
expect he wad hae done. But law licks up a', as the common folk say. I
have had the siller to borrow out of sax purses. Mr. Saddletree advised
to give the Laird of Lounsbeck a charge on his hand for a thousand merks.
But I hae nae broo' of charges, since that awfu' morning that a tout of a
horn, at the Cross of Edinburgh, blew half the faithfu' ministers of
Scotland out of their pulpits. However, I sall raise an adjudication,
whilk Mr. Saddletree says comes instead of the auld apprisings, and will
not lose weel-won gear with the like of him, if it may be helped. As for
the Queen, and the credit that she hath done to a poor man's daughter,
and the mercy and the grace ye found with her, I can only pray for her
weel-being here and hereafter, for the establishment of her house now and
for ever, upon the throne of these kingdoms. I doubt not but what you
told her Majesty, that I was the same David Deans of whom there was a
sport at the Revolution, when I noited thegither the heads of twa false
prophets, these ungracious Graces the prelates, as they stood on the Hie
Street, after being expelled from the Convention-parliament.*
* Note P. Expulsion of the Scotch Bishops.
The Duke of Argyle is a noble and true-hearted nobleman, who pleads the
cause of the poor, and those who have none to help them; verily his
reward shall not be lacking unto him.--I have, been writing of many
things, but not of that whilk lies nearest mine heart. I have seen the
misguided thing, she will be at freedom the morn, on enacted caution that
she shall leave Scotland in four weeks. Her mind is in an evil frame,--
casting her eye backward on Egypt, I doubt, as if the bitter waters of
the wilderness were harder to endure than the brick furnaces, by the side
of which there were savoury flesh-pots. I need not bid you make haste
down, for you are, excepting always my Great Master, my only comfort in
these straits. I charge you to withdraw your feet from the delusion of
that Vanity-fair in whilk ye are a sojourner, and not to go to their
worship, whilk is an ill-mumbled mass, as it was weel termed by James the
Sext, though he afterwards, with his unhappy son, strove to bring it ower
back and belly into his native kingdom, wherethrough their race have been
cut off as foam upon the water, and shall be as wanderers among the
nations-see the prophecies of Hosea, ninth and seventeenth, and the same,
tenth and seventh. But us and our house, let us say with the same
prophet, 'Let us return to the Lord, for he hath torn, and he will heal
us--He hath smitten, and he will bind us up.'"
He proceeded to say, that he approved of her proposed mode of returning
by Glasgow, and entered into sundry minute particulars not necessary to
be quoted. A single line in the letter, but not the least frequently read
by the party to whom it was addressed, intimated, that "Reuben Butler had
been as a son to him in his sorrows." As David Deans scarce ever
mentioned Butler before, without some gibe, more or less direct, either
at his carnal gifts and learning, or at his grandfather's heresy, Jeanie
drew a good omen from no such qualifying clause being added to this
sentence respecting him.
A lover's hope resembles the bean in the nursery tale,--let it once take
root, and it will grow so rapidly, that in the course of a few hours the
giant Imagination builds a castle on the top, and by and by comes
Disappointment with the "curtal axe," and hews down both the plant and
the superstructure. Jeanie's fancy, though not the most powerful of her
faculties, was lively enough to transport her to a wild farm in
Northumberland, well stocked with milk-cows, yeald beasts, and sheep; a
meeting-house, hard by, frequented by serious Presbyterians, who had
united in a harmonious call to Reuben Butler to be their spiritual guide
--Effie restored, not to gaiety, but to cheerfulness at least--their
father, with his grey hairs smoothed down, and spectacles on his nose--
herself, with the maiden snood exchanged for a matron's curch--all
arranged in a pew in the said meeting-house, listening to words of
devotion, rendered sweeter and more powerful by the affectionate ties
which combined them with the preacher. She cherished such visions from
day to day, until her residence in London began to become insupportable
and tedious to her; and it was with no ordinary satisfaction that she
received a summons from Argyle House, requiring her in two days to be
prepared to join their northward party.
One was a female, who had grievous ill
Wrought in revenge, and she enjoy'd it still;
Sullen she was, and threatening; in her eye
Glared the stern triumph that she dared to die.
The summons of preparation arrived after Jeanie Deans had resided in the
metropolis about three weeks.
On the morning appointed she took a grateful farewell of Mrs. Glass, as
that good woman's attention to her particularly required, placed herself
and her movable goods, which purchases and presents had greatly
increased, in a hackney-coach, and joined her travelling companions in
the housekeeper's apartment at Argyle House. While the carriage was
getting ready, she was informed that the Duke wished to speak with her;
and being ushered into a splendid saloon, she was surprised to find that
he wished to present her to his lady and daughters.
"I bring you my little countrywoman, Duchess," these were the words of
the introduction. "With an army of young fellows, as gallant and steady
as she is, and, a good cause, I would not fear two to one."
"Ah, papa!" said a lively young lady, about twelve years old, "remember
you were full one to two at Sheriffmuir, and yet" (singing the well-known
"Some say that we wan, and some say that they wan,
And some say that nane wan at a', man
But of ae thing I'm sure, that on Sheriff-muir
A battle there was that I saw, man."
"What, little Mary turned Tory on my hands?--This will be fine news for
our countrywoman to carry down to Scotland!"
"We may all turn Tories for the thanks we have got for remaining Whigs,"
said the second young lady.
"Well, hold your peace, you discontented monkeys, and go dress your
babies; and as for the Bob of Dunblane,
'If it wasna weel bobbit, weel bobbit, weel bobbit,
If it wasna weel bobbit, we'll bob it again.'"
"Papa's wit is running low," said Lady Mary: "the poor gentleman is
repeating himself--he sang that on the field of battle, when he was told
the Highlanders had cut his left wing to pieces with their claymores."
A pull by the hair was the repartee to this sally.
"Ah! brave Highlanders and bright claymores," said the Duke, "well do I
wish them, 'for a' the ill they've done me yet,' as the song goes.--But
come, madcaps, say a civil word to your countrywoman--I wish ye had half
her canny hamely sense; I think you may be as leal and true-hearted."
The Duchess advanced, and, in a few words, in which there was as much
kindness as civility, assured Jeanie of the respect which she had for a
character so affectionate, and yet so firm, and added, "When you get
home, you will perhaps hear from me."
"And from me." "And from me." "And from me, Jeanie," added the young
ladies one after the other, "for you are a credit to the land we love so
Jeanie, overpowered by these unexpected compliments, and not aware that
the Duke's investigation had made him acquainted with her behaviour on
her sister's trial, could only answer by blushing, and courtesying round
and round, and uttering at intervals, "Mony thanks! mony thanks!"
"Jeanie," said the Duke, "you must have /doch an' dorroch,/ or you will
be unable to travel."
There was a salver with cake and wine on the table. He took up a glass,
drank "to all true hearts that lo'ed Scotland," and offered a glass to
Jeanie, however, declined it, saying, "that she had never tasted wine in
"How comes that, Jeanie?" said the Duke,--"wine maketh glad the heart,
"Ay, sir, but my father is like Jonadab the son of Rechab, who charged
his children that they should drink no wine."
"I thought your father would have had more sense," said the Duke, "unless
indeed he prefers brandy. But, however, Jeanie, if you will not drink,
you must eat, to save the character of my house."
He thrust upon her a large piece of cake, nor would he permit her to
break off a fragment, and lay the rest on a salver.
"Put it in your pouch, Jeanie," said he; "you will be glad of it before
you see St. Giles's steeple. I wish to Heaven I were to see it as soon as
you! and so my best service to all my friends at and about Auld Reekie,
and a blithe journey to you."
And, mixing the frankness of a soldier with his natural affability, he
shook hands with his prote'ge'e, and committed her to the charge of
Archibald, satisfied that he had provided sufficiently for her being
attended to by his domestics, from the unusual attention with which he
had himself treated her.
Accordingly, in the course of her journey, she found both her companions
disposed to pay her every possible civility, so that her return, in point
of comfort and safety, formed a strong contrast to her journey to London.
Her heart also was disburdened of the weight of grief, shame,
apprehension, and fear, which had loaded her before her interview with
the Queen at Richmond. But the human mind is so strangely capricious,
that, when freed from the pressure of real misery, it becomes open and
sensitive to the apprehension of ideal calamities. She was now much
disturbed in mind, that she had heard nothing from Reuben Butler, to whom
the operation of writing was so much more familiar than it was to
"It would have cost him sae little fash," she said to herself; "for I hae
seen his pen gan as fast ower the paper, as ever it did ower the water
when it was in the grey goose's wing. Wae's me! maybe he may be badly--
but then my father wad likely hae said somethin about it--Or maybe he may
hae taen the rue, and kensna how to let me wot of his change of mind. He
needna be at muckle fash about it,"--she went on, drawing herself up,
though the tear of honest pride and injured affection gathered in her
eye, as she entertained the suspicion,--"Jeanie Deans is no the lass to
pu' him by the sleeve, or put him in mind of what he wishes to forget. I
shall wish him weel and happy a' the same; and if he has the luck to get
a kirk in our country, I sall gang and hear him just the very same, to
show that I bear nae malice." And as she imagined the scene, the tear
stole over her eye.
In these melancholy reveries, Jeanie had full time to indulge herself;
for her travelling companions, servants in a distinguished and
fashionable family, had, of course, many topics of conversation, in which
it was absolutely impossible she could have either pleasure or portion.
She had, therefore, abundant leisure for reflection, and even for
self-tormenting, during the several days which, indulging the young
horses the Duke was sending down to the North with sufficient ease and
short stages, they occupied in reaching the neighbourhood of Carlisle.
In approaching the vicinity of that ancient city, they discerned a
considerable crowd upon an eminence at a little distance from the high
road, and learned from some passengers who were gathering towards that
busy scene from the southward, that the cause of the concourse was, the
laudable public desire "to see a doomed Scotch witch and thief get half
of her due upo' Haribeebroo' yonder, for she was only to be hanged; she
should hae been boorned aloive, an' cheap on't."
"Dear Mr. Archibald," said the dame of the dairy elect, "I never seed a
woman hanged in a' my life, and only four men, as made a goodly
Mr. Archibald, however, was a Scotchman, and promised himself no
exuberant pleasure in seeing his countrywoman undergo "the terrible
behests of law." Moreover, he was a man of sense and delicacy in his way,
and the late circumstances of Jeanie's family, with the cause of her
expedition to London, were not unknown to him; so that he answered drily,
it was impossible to stop, as he must be early at Carlisle on some
business of the Duke's, and he accordingly bid the postilions get on.
The road at that time passed at about a quarter of a mile's distance from
the eminence, called Haribee or Harabee-brow, which, though it is very
moderate in size and height, is nevertheless seen from a great distance
around, owing to the flatness of the country through which the Eden
flows. Here many an outlaw, and border-rider of both kingdoms, had
wavered in the wind during the wars, and scarce less hostile truces,
between the two countries. Upon Harabee, in latter days, other executions
had taken place with as little ceremony as compassion; for these frontier
provinces remained long unsettled, and, even at the time of which we
write, were ruder than those in the centre of England.
The postilions drove on, wheeling as the Penrith road led them, round the
verge of the rising ground. Yet still the eyes of Mrs. Dolly Dutton,
which, with the head and substantial person to which they belonged, were
all turned towards the scene of action, could discern plainly the outline
of the gallows-tree, relieved against the clear sky, the dark shade
formed by the persons of the executioner and the criminal upon the light
rounds of the tall aerial ladder, until one of the objects, launched into
the air, gave unequivocal signs of mortal agony, though appearing in the
distance not larger than a spider dependent at the extremity of his
invisible thread, while the remaining form descended from its elevated
situation, and regained with all speed an undistinguished place among the
crowd. This termination of the tragic scene drew forth of course a squall
from Mrs. Dutton, and Jeanie, with instinctive curiosity, turned her head
in the same direction.
The sight of a female culprit in the act of undergoing the fatal
punishment from which her beloved sister had been so recently rescued,
was too much, not perhaps for her nerves, but for her mind and feelings.
She turned her head to the other side of the carriage, with a sensation
of sickness, of loathing, and of fainting. Her female companion
overwhelmed her with questions, with proffers of assistance, with
requests that the carriage might be stopped--that a doctor might be
fetched--that drops might be gotten--that burnt feathers and asafoetida,
fair water, and hartshorn, might be procured, all at once, and without
one instant's delay. Archibald, more calm and considerate, only desired
the carriage to push forward; and it was not till they had got beyond
sight of the fatal spectacle, that, seeing the deadly paleness of
Jeanie's countenance, he stopped the carriage, and jumping out himself,
went in search of the most obvious and most easily procured of Mrs.
Dutton's pharmacopoeia--a draught, namely, of fair water.
While Archibald was absent on this good-natured piece of service, damning
the ditches which produced nothing but mud, and thinking upon the
thousand bubbling springlets of his own mountains, the attendants on the
execution began to pass the stationary vehicle in their way back to
From their half-heard and half-understood words, Jeanie, whose attention
was involuntarily rivetted by them, as that of children is by ghost
stories, though they know the pain with which they will afterwards
remember them, Jeanie, I say, could discern that the present victim of
the law had died game, as it is termed by those unfortunates; that is,
sullen, reckless, and impenitent, neither fearing God nor regarding man.
"A sture woife, and a dour," said one Cumbrian peasant, as he clattered
by in his wooden brogues, with a noise like the trampling of a
"She has gone to ho master, with ho's name in her mouth," said another;
"Shame the country should be harried wi' Scotch witches and Scotch
bitches this gate--but I say hang and drown."
"Ay, ay, Gaffer Tramp, take awa yealdon, take awa low--hang the witch,
and there will be less scathe amang us; mine owsen hae been reckan this
"And mine bairns hae been crining too, mon," replied his neighbour.
"Silence wi' your fule tongues, ye churls," said an old woman, who
hobbled past them, as they stood talking near the carriage; "this was nae
witch, but a bluidy-fingered thief and murderess."
"Ay? was it e'en sae, Dame Hinchup?" said one in a civil tone, and
stepping out of his place to let the old woman pass along the footpath--
"Nay, you know best, sure--but at ony rate, we hae but tint a Scot of
her, and that's a thing better lost than found."
The old woman passed on without making any answer.
"Ay, ay, neighbour," said Gaffer Tramp, "seest thou how one witch will
speak for t'other--Scots or English, the same to them."
His companion shook his head, and replied in the same subdued tone, "Ay,
ay, when a Sark-foot wife gets on her broomstick, the dames of Allonby
are ready to mount, just as sure as the by-word gangs o' the hills,--
If Skiddaw hath a cap,
Criffel, wots full weel of that."
"But," continued Gager Tramp, "thinkest thou the daughter o' yon hangit
body isna as rank a witch as ho?"
"I kenna clearly," returned the fellow, "but the folk are speaking o'
swimming her i' the Eden." And they passed on their several roads, after
wishing each other good-morning.
Just as the clowns left the place, and as Mr. Archibald returned with
some fair water, a crowd of boys and girls, and some of the lower rabble
of more mature age, came up from the place of execution, grouping
themselves with many a yell of delight around a tall female fantastically
dressed, who was dancing, leaping, and bounding in the midst of them. A